I bore his ring upon my finger when I asked for his help and he came with me, knowing full well that he might not return. I asked him if it was because of his oath, but he laughed and shook his hair out of his eyes. And then he winked at me. “I have always been a romantic at heart.”
I still hear his words. He brought ten of his great knights, but the sons of Faenör whom he had succoured, they cowed the others. I wonder how they feel now? Those cousins? And the people who betrayed him?
I look at Luthién as she stands beside me. We could not carry him from the dungeon of Sauron. His body was too heavy and the wolf was on top of it, and we were tired and he told us to flee. No dead body was worth the risk. And so we fled. And my friend’s body will be mangled by the Enemy, and he will be reborn from the Halls of Mandos. But maybe his lady will be waiting for him when he walks out. We are raising this cairn so we may tell his people we buried him, that his body was not defiled. I asked him about that. “What will we tell your people, your sister?”
And he looked at me, with bloody eyes from his ravaged face and smiled from his torn lips and there was still that twinkle of mischief in his eyes and he said: “Lie.” And then he closed his eyes and we fled.
I am alive and he is dead and I feel as if an age of the world has passed. I never met him until I walked up to his throne that day, and brashly asked, nay demanded his aid, to keep him to his word. And after he had officially accepted he poured me a goblet of wine and I asked him why he did so. And he shrugged and smiled that crooked smile that touched his eyes into blue fire. “Because I can feel little Luthién’s heart in yours and would have her be happy.”
And I knew that he would not have aided me had he not felt that. And I knew that if anyone could help us get through it would be him. Luthién cries, for she remembers how he danced with her and three little girls, how he charmed her mother and made her father laugh. I came to demand aid and got a friend. And I stand by his empty grave with my arms around the woman I love and we weep for the only man who was good enough to help us.